Man kills wife, self, police say

June 08, 1994|By Gregory P. Kane | Gregory P. Kane,Sun Staff Writer

A 54-year-old Pasadena man shot his wife to death with a .22-caliber Marlin rifle before turning the weapon on himself in an apparent slaying-suicide yesterday, Anne Arundel County police said.

Police found Harley Walker and his wife, Margaret, 53, dead in their home in the 7900 block of West Riverside Drive shortly after noon yesterday, said police spokesman Officer Randy Bell.

"We received a call from the couple's daughter at 11:51 a.m.," said Officer Bell said. "She called us to check on their well-being because she hadn't been able to reach them. The daughter did not know the couple was deceased."

Police went to the Walkers' house at 12:09 p.m. and found the front door unlocked. They said they entered the three-bedroom house and found Mrs. Walker on the floor of the master bathroom. She had been shot at least once. Officers found Mr. Walker on the floor of the master bedroom, the rifle beside him, Officer Bell said. He, too, had been shot at least once.

Sgt. Rick Tabor, commander of the department's homicide squad, would not say how many times the couple had been shot or where their wounds were. However, he did say he was "confident" that the shootings occurred Tuesday morning.

The Walkers' daughter, whom police would not identify, told police her parents had been having marital problems, Officer Bell said. Mr. Walker was supposed to move out of the couple's home this weekend.

Sergeant Tabor said notes alluding to the marital problems were found in the house -- one in the kitchen and another in one of the bedrooms. The sergeant would not reveal their contents and said he would not classify them as suicide notes.

The daughter left her job in Prince George's County yesterday afternoon and went to the department's Eastern District.

She told police that the last time she had contact with either of her parents was when she talked to her father on Sunday.

Details about the Walkers were sketchy. Police did not know where they worked. James Joyce, who has lived on the quiet street of two-story homes for 23 years, said the Walkers lived on the block for 22 years. Mr. Joyce also said he last saw Mr. Walker on Friday.

"He was pulling his Jeep out of his driveway," Mr. Joyce said. "We weren't real friendly, but sociable [enough] to say 'Hi' out in the yard."

Mr. Joyce said the Walkers were a quiet couple. "You never heard any commotion or fighting there," he said.

Other neighbors said much the same. "My mom used to baby-sit his [Mr. Walker's] daughter's son years ago," said William Arthur Harrison, 20, who has lived on the block for 10 years.

Some neighbors said the neighborhood near Back Creek was so quiet that somebody would have heard shots coming from the house. But Officer Bell said a gunshot from a .22-caliber rifle wouldn't necessarily be loud.

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